Thursday, January 22, 2015

10 Things That Happened During & After Childbirth That Were Unexpected


I was barely 21 when I had my first baby and I'd be lying if I said I was totally prepared and knowledgeable when it came time to deliver. It was actually quite the opposite. I had NO clue what the heck I was getting myself into. I figured if things got too out of control or I became too scared, the doctors and nurses would help me out and all would be A-OK (they were the experts after all). Yeah, not so much.
Now, I was really lucky and had pretty easy labor and deliveries all three times. I won't go into detail of each one but will say that after I had my first and going into my second delivery, I thought I was the expert. But then the experience couldn't have been more different. Things I thought to remember from the first time around didn't happen and new surprises popped up. When the time came for me to deliver my third baby, I really thought I was an expert and would plan to have everything in my control (which for the most part I did). But still there were some surprises along the way and I can now say that I've experienced a few things during childbirth that I didn't know would or could happen. Here are some *not so obvious* things that happened to me during my three child birthing experiences that were definitely not expected...


  1. I threw up... I wasn't expecting to throw up. It was with my first and because I wasn't yet in active labor when I went to the hospital, I stopped off at Taco Bell and had a burrito. Bad idea. That bad boy came right back up after I had my first round of painkillers. It was horribly embarrassing and taught me to eat better and lighter during the next two labors. There is a reason they offer ice chips.
  2. Epidurals don't always take...yep, just when you think the pain is going to let up and you're going to get a break, the darn thing doesn't take. As was the case with my first delivery. I had about 45 mins of peace until the pain came flooding back to me and it was like there had never been a foot long needle in my back. Talk about a major let down. It was kind of a blessing though (I guess) since then I got to experience the pain of childbirth, but not in it's entire intensity. 
  3. Late Epidurals Suck... I received an epidural at 6 centimeters with my second. I was hoping not to have to get one but after 24 hours in labor, I just didn't have the fight in me anymore. Anyways, once I had started to get some relief, my 6 turned to 10 and I was ready to push (so I was told). Problem was, I couldn't feel anything...like, nothing. I couldn't even lift my legs onto the stirrups because I was so numb. This made pushing extremely difficult since I could feel everything with my first (see #2) and now didn't know what the heck I was doing. It made for a more pain-free birth but caused some not so great after birth moments...
  4. Headaches are a result from pushing/breathing incorrectly... since I couldn't feel how I was pushing, I started pushing in my face (sounds funny but that's what the good doctor called it) and the extremely painful headache that came rushing to my head immediately after I gave birth was a little bonus since I couldn't feel the delivery itself. It was so bad that I needed an oxygen mask to help alleviate some of the pain. This was in the forefront of my mind when I went into delivery number 3... push in your bottom, not in your face. 
  5. The numbness lasts a long time... because I had the epidural so close to when I gave birth, I remained numb -internally- for hours after. This made going to the bathroom extremely difficult and frustrating since I felt like I had to pee but couldn't control myself to go. I used warm water, I sat on the toilet, I waited...nothing happened. It got to the point where my bladder was so full I was crying in pain. They finally put a catheter in me (5 times!) since I couldn't control that part of my body. It was a nightmare. 
  6. The lady bits might be a bit swollen... okay maybe a lot swollen. I had no one to enlighten me with this info and since my mom had cesareans, she also wasn't any help in this department. So imagine my surprise when after just giving birth for the first time, I look down to see that things didn't look quite like normal. It never even occurred to me that this would happen. I mean, it makes total sense given the circumstances but it never crossed my mind. 
  7. The connection... with the baby is not always instantaneous. I didn't know how I was going to feel right after giving birth but was hoping to be overwhelmed with tears of joy and have an instant bond with my baby I had carried for nine long months. This was not the case. I would say it took me a day or so to get passed the initial fear and to a point of happiness with my my first. I still feel some guilt for not having an instant bond with my baby at birth. With my second and third there was thankfully an instant connection and not the trepidation I had felt with my first. 
  8. The high of giving birth... is like nothing I have ever experienced and will ever experience again. No one had ever told me (I was the first of my friends and family to have a baby) that the moment after giving birth is the most euphoric of all moments. Call it endorphins, hormones, joy, whatever, but that feeling just after I had given life and pushed my body that hard was the most rewarding and overpowering feeling I have ever felt. It doesn't last long as motherhood immediately follows but to say I wasn't looking forward to it in my following deliveries would be an understatement. 
  9. The sadness... of not being pregnant anymore. This was very unexpected and totally took me by surprise because all three times I was so ready to not be pregnant anymore. But when everything calmed down and I was able to go over everything that had taken place, I was overcome with sadness with no longer carrying life within me anymore; a feeling of emptiness. Yes, there was now a living, breathing human baby to take care of, but I really enjoyed being pregnant and felt a little loss after it was all said and done; if even a bit irrational.  
  10. The unpredictableness & strength in the whole thing...Now this one is quite personal for me. After my first two deliveries, in which I had been induced (#1), had epidurals, crappy recoveries and the whole hospital experience, going into #3 I knew I wanted to make it as easy and simple as possible, while still going to the hospital. I did this by staying and laboring at home for as long as possible (25 hours from first contraction) before finally *walking to the hospital. I knew that if I was too many centimeters dilated, I wouldn't even be offered an epidural. When I arrived at the hospital, I was at 8cm and the baby was delivered within 30 mins. Since it was so quick and I wasn't hooked up to anything, I was able to walk and shower after I had finished bonding with my baby. I had no idea I would be able to be so free after giving birth because I was so constrained the first two times around. I even walked to my recovery room. The strength that our bodies go through when bringing a child into the world is pretty remarkable, and the fact that so many twists and turns can make for any number of delivery possibilities, is pretty exciting. 
I would love to hear some unexpected things that took place during labor and deliveries, as birth stories are simply one of my favorite topics to read.

Have a wonderful Thursday!


38 comments:

  1. These are spot on! I have given birth nine times myself and am a birth photographer. Mamas need to be warned about these things.

    Renee, cohost of the #shinebloghop

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    1. I've read your blog and think you are just amazing! And, you get to experience the arrival of babies for your career...I'm a bit jealous ;-) Have a great Friday!! xx

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  2. I love birth stories too! I had to laugh about the burrito! I was in labor for 36 hours and I don't remember eating much of anything during that time. I too was a little shocked by the state of my girlie parts after giving birth. I can't think of anything else that was unexpected. I was lucky and had pretty much exactly the experience I was hoping for.
    #friendshipfriday

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    1. Yeah, you could pretty much say food it always on my mind!! I'm glad you had good deliveries...it's always nice to hear when women are happy with how things developed during childbirth. Have a good Friday!! xx

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  3. All three birth experiences were different with me, as well. #1 three epidurals during labor only eased pain, but kicked in full throttle leaving me temporally paralyzed for hours afterwards. #2 C-section horrible chills with the spinal block after delivery. #3 total natural birth with biggest baby & difficult labor nurse helped with pushing left my stomach feeling like a punching bag after son was born. But...I'd do everything all over again, if given the chance. Now, my babies are grown and out of the house. The years zing by! It's nice meeting you on Friendship Friday! I'm now following you! ;)

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    1. Thank you for sharing your experience!! I also would do everything all over again if given the chance! I loved everything about giving birth...even the not so good parts! Have a wonderful day!! xx

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  4. Some great insights here! My daughters have chosen to labor at home as long as possible before going to the hospital and it has worked out well for them.

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  5. Yes, I agree it worked out! Only, had I waited much longer, I probably would have had the baby at home lol! It all worked out in the end!

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  6. I threw up right after I had my second child, and did not see that coming either.

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  7. I absolutely LOVE this! I just had my 4th baby two months ago and those feelings you described are perfect! I had never been able to articulate any of that and you did it beautifully! I still laugh at the thought of being sad that I am not pregnant anymore because I was so ready to get that baby out!

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    1. Congrats on #4 and thank you! Yes, it's a bit bitter-sweet having a baby... not being pregnant anymore but getting a sweet baby! Have a great day!

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  8. Expect to walk like John Wayne for a while... :D

    Thanks for linking up with our Parenting Pin It Party x

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  9. Love that you talk about this so candidly - more people need to speak out about all this! #MommyMeetupMondays

    http://motherhoodtherealdeal.com/

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    1. Thank you! I love talking about childbirth ha! xx

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  10. Such a great post! I didn't have an epidural, but I could relate to so much of this! I was totally unprepared for the whole experience! I have to agree with you, the "high" after delivery is pretty amazing, as is knowing that you are capable of doing something so miraculous!

    Thank you for sharing with us at #MommyMeetupMondays!

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    1. Thank you, and yes, the high {especially after an epidural} is amazing and a blessing at the same time. Women are amazing!

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  11. To say giving birth is a wild ride.... whether you are the most prepared or going into it unexpectedly you cannot predict what is going to happen. I had both things happen on this list and I had a c-section with my first one! It is crazy but worth it in the end <3

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    1. So worth it! I would each all over again for my babes. Thanks for stopping by!! xx

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  12. I love number 10; it's definitely something I relate to, as well!

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    1. Thank you! Yes, #10 makes me the happiest, too! Have a great weekend! xx

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  13. Wow. It amazes me how different and yet how similar experiencing motherhood is for all. Thank you for sharing this raw and beautiful insight to your experience. What a beautiful piece. #MommyMeetUpMondays

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  14. I loved reading this. I am a bit of a birth junkie myself. So happy to have found your blog :)

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  15. Nothing goes like we plan is it? Thank you so much for linking up with the #pinitparty

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  16. See. epidural experiences like those are some of the reasons why I am so afraid to get one! I've been able to avoid them so far but I know there's always a chance I may need one next time and that scares me. I know that probably sounds silly, but it does.
    And I totally know what you mean about pushing with your face. I did that with my first and I had popped blood vessels all over my face and chest! It was bizarre.
    I also agree about being sad when you're no longer pregnant, I kind of miss that connection where it's only me and that baby, and I love feeling the little kicks and nudges. :)

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  17. I love this post. There are so many things that happen that no one can prepare you for. Or they forgot to tell you.

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  18. I love that you shared these real moments. I'm adopted and so no one has had kids in my family since my deceased grandmother. I end up worrying a lot about pregnancy, but then I remember that everyone who was born had a pregnant mother. Also, I saw on pinterest that if you freeze maxi pads that it can really help with swelling "down there."

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  19. I'll second the throwing up thing. =) Although mine was after the birth; I went in for an induction so I knew not to eat beforehand. Right after I had my daughter, like 18 hours later, I had a turkey sandwich and threw it right back up afterward, lol. I was so sad, that was a good sandwich.

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  20. I had an emergency C-section the first time and a VBAC the second. The stress surrounding the first one made it difficult. It was my first baby, I was scared to death because his heart rate kept deaccelerating. I was not expecting to be delivering that day and among several other horrible things my Nurse tells me the baby in the room next to me DIED! My 22 year old 'baby-boy' is very smart, mine was a happy ending but at the time I just wanted to get up and leave! LOL With a smile, Carlyn in Tampa :-0

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  21. Whew!!! That's a lot, but there's so much that Hollywood doesn't show and people don't think to tell you. I don't have children e it I'm pinning this to remember!

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  22. I love this so much! With my first I pushed for 5 hours and ended in a c-section. To be honest I feel if I didn't have so many meds and better nurses I could have pushed her out. I think I might just stay at home like you did as long as possible with the second. I really really want to try for a VBAC but think I will be pushed into a c-section again so I need to do what I can to stay at home.

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  23. Oh, man, you have such a great memory! The first time around for me was a total shocker because I was only 29 weeks, and the second time I was determined to go au naturale with no epidural to lessen my risk for my c-section scar rupturing internally. And oh, my, the intensity of contractions was a surprise, but the trances I went into after each one were even more surprising! It was literally like I was awake/asleep at the same time having bizarre and hilarious dreams with no pain. And then that I was even able to push out the baby was a surprise. It's all surreal and amazing and terrifying. Great post!

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  24. Totally spot on with 6-10 for me. I'm almost 6 months pp right now and I still feel awesome high from labor and delivery. Great post!

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  25. I loved this post. I haven't had any children yet but love to see other people's stories so am a bit more prepared when it comes my turn.

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  26. Thank you for sharing this; although I am not pregnant nor am I planning to be any time soon (considering I am single!), this post is so honest and real and I think there needs to be more like this from other mothers. Child birth is scary and crazy and not as glamorous as movies make it to be! I am glad you got through it all- some sounds so painful! But at least out of it all, you got such a beautiful baby :) Rianna xo

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  27. Ahhh I LOVE this! It's crazy how different every birth is, even for the same mother! I wanted to labor at home as long as possible, but they induced me at 42 weeks and I was so. ready. Looking back, I wish I would have waited to go into labor on my own.

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  28. Wow! Did you end up getting the epidural with the third? That sounds not worth it... One of my friends is doing physical therapy every week from issues with an epidural. I didn't know there were so many issues. I thought it was wam, bam pain free.

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  29. Ahhh the throwing up, yep, did that too.

    Mollyxxx

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  30. Awh, the swollen lady bits comment did make me laugh, I would highly recommend you don't put your hands "down there" to feel what it's like for at least a week if possible - or you give yourself a nasty shock! (especially if you've had stitches...)
    I didn't have epidural's with any of mine and from what you say and my experience it seems the less you have the quicker you can be up and about. Though I'm sure that's a generalisation!
    Thanks for sharing your experience, I think first time mums really do need to be warned about the less "magical" aspects of labour.

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